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A Telescope of My Own
A Telescope of My Own

As a teenager in high school, I took Astronomy classes and was simply amazed at the sights that beheld the night skies. My parents couldn't afford to buy me a telescope so my Astronomy teacher allowed me to take one of the school's telescopes home every night. The next day I would go to class and literally teach the other students what I had learned over the night or weekend, whichever the case was.

I am 53 now and two years ago I had a massive heart attack and have been unable to work. I have since gotten back into my Astronomy and have involved my wife as well. In November of 2007, just four months after my illness struck, my wife purchased a telescope for me off of eBay. It was to be my Christmas present and she was as anxious to get it as I was. It was a 4.5" Meade 4504 Reflector used telescope that looked perfect in the pictures. It cost about $100.00 not including shipping. This was all the money she had to spend on the entire family for the holiday but she simply had to have that telescope.

We waited and waited for it to arrive. Two weeks went by and we heard nothing. Two more weeks went by and still nothing. She just knew that her money had been wasted and she had been taken for a fool. Christmas came and went with no telescope. Finally in January, UPS arrived with a huge package for her. She was so excited that it had finally arrived that she couldn't wait to open the box and it was all she could do to drag it to my bedside.

I sat up on the side of the bed and attempted to cut the package open but my hands were shaking so that I kept dropping the scissors. She finally took them from me and managed to get the box open. She began pulling pieces out of the box. Piece by piece emerged slowly. As the tube emerged from its dark dungeonous crate, I began to see the desecration of everything that is moral to a telescope. The tube appeared as though someone had literally used it to play football, the mirror was broken and the eyepieces were damaged.

My wife began crying instantly. She wanted so desperately for me to have that telescope and when it arrived it was devastated. She didn't see the same thing I did. She saw a massive pile of junk and I saw something that I could turn into the grandest and only telescope I had ever owned. I worked for weeks repairing the tube and my wife saved for the new mirror. In the middle of March, we stood in snow to finally view the wonders that the night sky had to offer. My most memorable astronomy moment was the instant I placed my eye to the eyepiece and saw the moon for the first time through my own telescope.

Date Taken: 06/15/2011
Author: Michael H
Category: Orion's Astronomy Essay Contest (2009)

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